Cult of the Bean

Cult of the Bean

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The aroma. The taste. The ritual of the preparation, and the anticipation. It’s more than just a drink.

Coffee is an integral part of cycling and cyclists lifestyles. But, like Campa versus Shimano, or white socks versus black, the way we imbibe the magic bean can be just as polarising.

We received an email from a reader with a suggestion for The Rules. Rob infers that anyone partaking in a soy-based brew, or a ‘lite’ milk additive, should be ceremonially beaten. “Harsh but fair” he believes, such as we always imply with The Rules.

Already I am receiving unflattering, downright tempestuous emails from my fellow Keepers regarding my soy intake confession. Yes, I unashamedly admit to this ‘foam pas’ and will accept any abuse like a man. A soy-drinking man, dammit!

But no matter how you enjoy your bean, there’s one thing for certain;  coffee is good. Some say it should only be consumed black, sans sugar, in a ceramic cup. Others, like Rob, suggest it can be enhanced with a small amount of milk, i.e macchiato. While everyone has different tastes, I’m sure most of us would agree that caramel, butterscotch and excessive amounts of foam, sprinklings and flavourings have no place in any cup.

 

// General // La Vie Velominatus // Reverence // The Rules // Tradition

  1. @King Clydesdale
    I use the Bialetti Moka. It’s not as good as a proper latte, but it gets the job done and I don’t have the counterspace for proper equipment.

    @Minion
    Those Vietnamese coffees are the bomb. I still have my little Vietnamese filter from a trip there 15 years ago. Another great thing about Vietnam: Draft beer is cheaper than bottled water.

  2. @Minion
    Very oily beans usually means that a good portion of the coffee goodness was roasted out of said beans and won’t end up in your cup. Instead it will be on the surfaces of your machine. The oils stick to everything and go rancid very quickly. Just some words of caution in case you run some of that through your new set up and then in a week or so are wondering why you can’t seem to get a good cup of coffee anymore. A good cleaning and you will be back to java junky heaven.

  3. For all the backpackers that need their fix but want to decrease the footprint of coffee equipment, this works well. A stripped down Moka:

    backpack “espresso” maker

    It can be used on the stove at home but be prepared for some splatter.

  4. Not to turn into a broken record about how cool my café is, but the green bike in the foreground showed up last week. Will provide a better pic shortly…

  5. Any pic would be good!

  6. @Oli
    Bah! Use your imagination.

  7. @Oli
    I’m sure @Steampunk is referring to this beauty:

  8. @itburns @Oli
    The correct pic seems to be up now. Or this one?

  9. @Steampunk
    But wait a minute: what are Cav and Thor sporting on their right wrists??

  10. @Steampunk
    Livestrong Cock Rings of Pure Awesome.

  11. Huh. Thor’s on 7800 while Cav’s on 7900 Dura Ace?

  12. From the New York Times:

    Scientists and many athletes have known for years, of course, that a cup of coffee before a workout jolts athletic performance, especially in endurance sports like distance running and cycling. Caffeine has been proven to increase the number of fatty acids circulating in the bloodstream, which enables people to run or pedal longer (since their muscles can absorb and burn that fat for fuel and save the body’s limited stores of carbohydrates until later in the workout). As a result, caffeine, which is legal under International Olympic Committee rules, is the most popular drug in sports. More than two-thirds of about 20,680 Olympic athletes studied for a recent report had caffeine in their urine, with use highest among triathletes, cyclists and rowers.

    Interesting. I crossed out the stupid bits about running.

    Continuing:

    All of which would seem to indicate that a grande Americano is the ideal sports beverage. But, Dr. Mohr cautions, many questions remain. “We don’t know the best dose” of caffeine to provide performance benefits without undesirable side effects, he says, like heightened blood pressure or the jitters. In his study, volunteers consumed the equivalent of more than five large cups of brewed coffee before their workout.

    Clearly, no one has mentioned to them that the ideal dose would be a straight double espresso?

  13. @mcsqueak
    A+1 on the espresso.

    This sits between me and my espresso at my café at the moment:

    God of Thunder (vintage 2009).

  14. @Steampunk

    Huh, that looks like Fr0nk’s setup!

    Wish I had a bike-specific coffee shop around here. There is one around the corner from my house, but I’m afraid my ride would be nicked from out front if I went in to grab an espresso right before the ride.

    I still haven’t been able to manage to coax good ‘espresso’ out of my Mokapot as of yet, not sure what I’m doing wrong but it never really tastes that awesome, very “meh”.

  15. @mcsqueak

    Wish I had a bike-specific coffee shop around here. There is one around the corner from my house, but I’m afraid my ride would be nicked from out front if I went in to grab an espresso right before the ride.

    I carry a Burton Snowboard Lock for those times when you want to help insure your bike is where you left it. Not a hardcore lock by any means, just a deterrent against someone taking a joyride.

  16. My espresso machine is better than your espresso machine :)

    The Rancilio Silvia, imported direct from Italy. I also have a Gaggia burr grinder that sits next to it on my kitchen counter, and I grind the beans as needed to make the perfect espresso. (Hey, if you’re gonna have expensive, top-quality bikes and cycling gear, might as well do the same for coffee, right?)

  17. @doubleR

    My espresso machine is better than your espresso machine :)

    @itburns

    My rig for ride preparation. Usually just espresso but occasionally a cortado.

    Not as nice as this beast, the Expobar, f’ing beauty right here. @itburns rules.

  18. @Gianni

    @doubleR

    My espresso machine is better than your espresso machine :)

    @itburns

    My rig for ride preparation. Usually just espresso but occasionally a cortado.

    Not as nice as this beast, the Expobar, f’ing beauty right here. @itburns rules.

    Holy Merckx! I’m seeing a digital display for the water temperature, two analog gauges for steam pressure, and two steam wands, correct?

  19. Ah this is the thread I was looking for months ago. you guys might want to rustle up one of these.

  20. @doubleR
    Oh yes, PID temp control, one wand for steam, one for hot water. It’s the Thor of espresso makers. Actually it’s Spanish, so maybe the Indurain of brewing machines. Daddy wants very much.

  21. @snoov

    Ah this is the thread I was looking for months ago. you guys might want to rustle up one of these.

    I love the way the copper contrasts with the polished steel. I am puzzled, however, exactly what it is? Maybe some sort of improvised filter holder?

  22. It’s a stencil for cappuccinos.

  23. @snoov

    It’s a stencil for cappuccinos.

    Oh, yeah…it makes sense now! Thanks.

  24. @Gianni

    @doubleR
    Oh yes, PID temp control, one wand for steam, one for hot water. It’s the Thor of espresso makers. Actually it’s Spanish, so maybe the Indurain of brewing machines. Daddy wants very much.

    E61 group head with preinfusion, a group head pressure adjustment screw behind the drip tray, double boiler – one boiler for group head and one boiler for steam and micro temperature group head adjustments. Took me a long time to get to this but it’s nice to know I am done with upgrades. Current version has added manual control of preinfusion time and an option to switch off steam boiler if you are just pulling espressos. Thing is a beast. Weighs 62 lbs/28kg empty.

    Also highly recommend the Compak K3 Touch grinder.

  25. @itburns

    @Gianni

    @doubleROh yes, PID temp control, one wand for steam, one for hot water. It’s the Thor of espresso makers. Actually it’s Spanish, so maybe the Indurain of brewing machines. Daddy wants very much.

    E61 group head with preinfusion, a group head pressure adjustment screw behind the drip tray, double boiler – one boiler for group head and one boiler for steam and micro temperature group head adjustments. Took me a long time to get to this but it’s nice to know I am done with upgrades. Current version has added manual control of preinfusion time and an option to switch off steam boiler if you are just pulling espressos. Thing is a beast. Weighs 62 lbs/28kg empty.
    Also highly recommend the Compak K3 Touch grinder.

    Holy crap….with boilers filled, it would be a two-man lift just to reposition the thing on your kitchen counter!

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